Green Urban Manufacturing Initiative

Information Sharing, Stimulating Conversation & Networking at the GUMI Roundtable

The Green Urban Manufacturing Initiative (GUMI) Roundtable hosted at the USC Davidson Conference Center and Sponsored by Emerald Cities Collaborative and Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency was a great success!

Participants included industry and key experts and organizations, including Green for All, USC, Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles, UCLA , SCOPE L.A. , Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, the City of Vernon, the California Manufacturing Technology Consulting and others.

The Roundtable explored both the Challenges and Opportunities of helping urban manufacturers make the green transformation.  This collaborative effort created a great environment of information sharing and stimulating discussions.  In that spirit, here we are sharing those presentations with you.  Just click on underlined titles to review.  The GUMI Roundtable represents the first convening of the newly formed GUMI Network.

Attendees were sent in advance a topical brief, Pathways to Green Manufacturing , which set the tone for the Roundtable.  The day-long event began with welcoming remarks from our host, Dr. Manuel Pastor, Director, USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity      (PERE) & Co-Director, USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).

The Morning Keynote Address was by Barry R. Sedlik, Chair of the California Green Collars Jobs Council. His talk was California Green Jobs: Challenges and Opportunities . Mr. Sedlik’s keynote was followed by “Manufacturing in the Regional Economy”.  A Historical Manufacturing Perspective was presented by Thomas Tseng, Principal and Co-Founder, New American Dimensions, who was then followed by Gregory Freeman, Vice President, Economic & Policy Consulting, L.A. County Economic Development Corporation who talked about the Economic Importance of Manufacturing.

Having set that frame-work, the next presentation was Green Innovation: Business Friendly Regulations by Ms. Martha Dina Arguello, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, whose presentation provided a case study on Dry Cleaning vs. “Wet” Cleaning, which is the latest green alternative which was developed by the UCLA Sustainable Technology & Policy Program.   Included in our packet of information at the Roundtable was a white paper produced by the UCLA Policy Program: Integrating Safer Alternative into Chemical Policy.

Global and National Greening: Imperative, Opportunity and Staying Competitive was a panel moderated by Ms. Linda Griego of Griego Enterprises, Inc.  Her panelist included Ms. Cecilia Estolano, Chief Strategist of State and Local Initiatives at Green for All and Mr. Adam Friedman from the Pratt Center for Community Development      in New York.    Mr. Friedman’s Presentation focused on the Sustainability Neighborhoods Initiative work being done by his organization.

The focus then switched to “Target Sectors: Market Opportunities & Challenges” with a panel moderated by  Gregory Freeman, who worked with CDTech to conduct Focus Interviews with industry representatives from GUMI’s four target sectors, food processing, apparel, furniture and metals.   The industry representatives were Mr. Tim Strelitz, President of  CMX Metals Corporation who is doing great work in the development of eco-friendly alloys and Mr. William J. Perry, Board member and former owner of GFF, Inc./Girard’s Salad Dressings.  GFF has made many green changes that have not only reduced their carbon footprint but created great cost savings.


Next, Ms. Alexandra Paxton, Special Assistant to Deputy Chief of Operations at the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles & Mr. Adam Friedman presented Land Use Challenges and Opportunities which examined issues both in Los Angeles and New York City.

The Lunch Keynote Address was by Dr. Denise G. Fairchild, Executive Director, Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC) whose provided a perspective on the importance of manufacturers to the green economy and the work that ECC was doing in this area.

A WorkForce Issues Panel was then moderated by Ms. Elsa Barboza, Campaign Director, SCOPE L.A whose panelist included Dr. Manuel Pastor, USC who talked about Worker Recruitment & Hiring Networks, Ms. Linda Delp from UCLA LOSH who focused onWorker Safety & Training.  Representing the industry perspective was Ms. Laura Lee, Soy Foods of America who is also a Food Industry Business Roundtable (FIBR) Board member.

The last part of the day was spent on short presentation of successful program for greening urban manufacturers.  Ms. James Watson, Vice President of the California Manufacturing Technology Consulting presented case studies on Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing Plants He was followed by Ms. Linda Johnson, Environmental Health Specialist & Sustainability Program Manager for the City of Vernon who focued on the City of Vernon’s Sustainability Program. She was followed by Mr. Mas Hori, FIBR Board Member & Former California State Health Inspector whose talk was The Role of Trade Associations: Food Industry Business Roundtable

Wrapping up the Roundtable was Yvette Nunez, Sr. Program Director for Business and Economic Development at CDTech who is heading the GUMI program and closing remarks by Benjamin Torres, CDTech President.

The Green Urban Manufacturing Initiative is a Community Development Technologies Center (CDTech) project funded by a grant of the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.   If you are interested in joining the GUMI Network or are a manufacturing interested in learning about becoming a GUMI participant, please contact Yvette Nunez at 213/763-2520 x227 or by email at